Pacific Book Review – The Owl and the Christmas Tree

A beautiful Christmas story for all ages, The Owl and the Christmas Tree brings the famous New York Rockefeller Christmas tree to life when a crew member finds a little owl living among the branches. The owl’s saga is told in iambic verse, making it so fun to read or listen to out loud.

John Nieman’s creativity shines on every page – from his drawings to his well-written poetry. This book is a sure delight for any age, especially around Christmas time where families can read together.

At the surface Nieman’s story is a feel-good Christmas tale about a little owl discovered within the most famous Christmas tree in the world. This little owl, however, brings light the effects of the commercialization of the biggest holiday of the year has on nature. First of all – the giant tree is uprooted and moved to a concrete dwelling place. Ornaments and lights are hung onto beaches which once homed living things in a place where nobody came to admire it.

The little owl becomes famous thanks to a kind worker, who was the only one who thought to help the owl come down from the tree which would soon be inhabitable. The author nods to our society’s carelessness for the small, the voiceless, the faraway. Nonetheless, the little owl turns into a Christmas celebrity before getting returned back to the wild where he can thrive once again.

To me, the saddest part about Christmas in America is seeing the trees on the curb – it all comes and goes so quickly. In Nieman’s story, the tree and the decorations are disposed of, the owl gets returned to his home, but the magic gets to stay – the owl shades his fame with his friends and is celebrated when he is reunited with his critter friends.

This book is a great vocabulary builder for all readers. In the classroom students can also learn about various rhythms and verses used in poetry since the beginning of the English language. Nieman’s poetic storytelling mimics the great classics and is a wonderful way to introduce students to iambic pentameter and various rhyme schemes.

A little Christmas magic, some important social commentary and even a lesson in English literature – The Owl and the Christmas Tree is a treasure trove for learners young and old.

Title: The Owl and the Christmas Tree
Author: John Nieman
Publisher: Pageturner Press and Media, LLC
ISBN: 978-1-63871-642-6
Pages: 33
Genre: YA Fiction
Reviewed by: Nicole Olson

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